10 years of the MCU and we have seen a lot of heroes & villains. Some good, some great and some mediocre. Overall it has been a phenomenal journey and Infinity War definitely feels like the end of the road for this phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, paving the way for a bright new future by delivering possibly one of the best superhero films ever made to date.
Please note this review will be 100% spoiler free so you won’t be getting anything ruined by me (I promise!) The film’s premise is fairly simple, Thanos the big blue, red and sometimes purple villain is searching for Infinity stones, they are sources of power that he seeks to control with his gauntlet. He must unite all 6 stones with three being scattered across the galaxy, three on earth, to control the universe with just a click of his fingers. Infinity War focuses on the fall out from Civil War (sort of…) while mixing in the new characters and franchises since the last Avengers film and shows the putting together of different characters in different groups to stop Thanos from coming to Earth and retrieving the last of the stones. That is all I am going to say about the plot I promise you.
My biggest concern going into this was Thanos, previously in other trailers he looked horribly average and to be fair they should have not shown him in such a horrible and unfinished state because in the actual movie he looks amazing. Super realistic (well as much as purple alien with a ball sack for a chin can look) while his look was flawless it was also helped by his character and story arc. By delving deep into the history of the character and what his beliefs are, is a completely integral and necessary tool to understand his motivations and to some point even empathise with him, which is no easy feat.
The Russo brothers are masters of shaking the MCU up, they did it with the destruction of SHIELD in Captain America : Winter Soldier and again in Captain America : Civil War. They were the perfect choice for the Infinity War storyline and were able to keep the focus on the main Avengers cast while still showcasing the new ones we have grown to love over the last few years. Seeing Thor teaming up with the likes of Rocket and Groot is definitely one of the highlights of the team ups. Not only this but seeing women and people of colour taking a front row position in this instalment shows Marvel’s progression towards change and the wild success of Black Panther and the upcoming Captain Marvel should ensure that it continues. There was something about seeing Scarlet Witch, Black Widow and Okoye that is nothing short of glorious.
There is a lot of chopping and changing throughout the film that really could have gone off the rails if not handled correctly, fortunately the script has been kept pretty tight and rumours of the many re-writes ensure that it stayed on course. There was one point in which it felt it was dragging but it swiftly picked up the pace and was unrelenting from then till the emotional climax. Props have to be given for the writers and directors for being so brave to take on a project of this magnitude and managing to keep it all as cohesive as they did.
Seeing characters progress through story arcs has been interesting to watch, and while this film doesn’t hone in one too many progressions, it particularly looks at the Bruce Banner/Hulk relationship and progresses Bruce Banner as a person and a character. It was actually surprising to see them make this decision, particularly when the Hulk has been a huge focus in previous Avenger films, to give Banner more breathing room and screen time really helps delve into the side effects of Thor : Ragnarok. Similarly going into backstories of Gamora and Nebula with Thanos and exploring that relationship even more is essential storytelling for context and understanding.
Overall Avengers : Infinity War delivers above and beyond its promise of making the biggest superhero film ever made. It successfully gives us essentially a Thanos backstory while mixing in some spectacular action sequences of our favourite Marvel superheroes. I am thoroughly convinced that no other director could do this so successfully. After all the complaining that Joss Whedon did after Age Of Ultron, it is refreshing to see a film four times the scale be presented in such a positive light. You can feel the love that the Russo’s have for these characters and this franchise. Avengers : Infinity War is the best Marvel Cinematic Universe film to date.
P.S. Do not read ANY spoiler reviews, leaks or tidbits, going in with the minimal amount of knowledge is the best way to experience this film, and make sure to stay all the way at the end of the credits scene.
Review by Alaisdair Leith.
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